A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MONOBLOC
How did a plain and modest plastic chair reach global domination? Here’s a little history lesson.
1946. Canadian designer D.C. Simpson comes out with the first ever monobloc plastic chair. (This was right around the time that plastic products in general were making their first big splash in the consumer market after World War II.) As its name implies, the monobloc chair is manufactured in one piece through a process called injection molding. In a nutshell, hot liquid plastic is injected into a mold and then given time to cool and harden. Today, one injection-molding machine can typically produce 18 to 20 chairs every hour.
1968. Famous Danish designer Verner Panton designs the Panton chair. Its form is organic and sinewy, highlighting his desire to create furniture pieces that “grow out of the floor.” However, the chair is not produced by injection, but rather through pressed polyester.
1983. The Grosfillex group, an international furnishings company based in France, produces the monobloc chair as we know it today, dubbing it as “The Resin Garden Chair.” This is the first time the chair is massproduced in high volumes. Fun fact: the chair cost $50 at the time it was first released, but now retails for only $10. Another fun fact: the chair only costs $3 to produce (yes, that’s only around P150!).